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Destination Guide > Quick Facts
Myanmar, (formerly Burma) and Yangon, (formerly Rangoon) · The country Myanmar came in force internationally in 1982 although the locals always referred to their homeland as Myanmar and not Burma.
Size & Location:
Myanmar covers an area of 671,000 sq km, and borders China, India, Thailand, Laos and Bangladesh with a coastline opening into the Bay of Bengal and the Gulf of Martaban.
Population & Race:
49 million of which: Burman-65%, Shan-10%, Karen-7% and the remainder is made up of Mon, Kachin, Chin, Kayah and Rakhine ·
6 hours ahead of Greenwich meantime. Or, coming from Bangkok, minus 30 minutes. ·
Aside from Burmese there is a wide variety of languages and dialects spoken in Myanmar,
Money and Currency:
Foreign visitors entering Myanmar must exchange US$300 into FEC's (Foreign Exchange Currency). Children under 12 and those on package tours are exempt. The approximate value of 1 FEC is 1 US dollar. You are entitled to exchange as many dollars into FEC's as you need.
The local currency is Kyat (pronounced Chaat). You are allowed to exchange your FEC's for Kyat at whatever the going exchange rate is and use the Kyat as any other currency, but you are not permitted to leave the country with it. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency you may enter with, but you cannot leave with more.
In addition to FEC and Kyat the US dollar is widely accepted. As well as most major credit cards and travelers cheques.
Myanmar is a Buddhist nation. You can still find a wide selection of alternative places of worship in Yangon. Anglican - Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 446 Bogyoke Aung San Street. Baptist - Immanuel Church, corner of Mahabandoola and Barr streets. TEL: 245 905 Hindu - I. Hindu Temple, Anawratha street, nr Thein Ghyi Zei market. I I. Sri Sri Durga Temple, 307 Bo Aung Gyaw Street III. Sri Sri Siva Krishna Temple, 141 Pansodan Street. Jewish - The Jewish Synagogue, 26th Street. Muslim - I. Khoja Mosque, Shwebontha Street II. Shia Mosque, 30th Street, III. Sunni Mosque, Sule Pagoda Roa Roman Catholic - St Mary Cathedral, 372 Bo Aung Kyaw Street Sikh - Sikh Temple, 256 Theinbyu Road
Like most of South East Asia, Myanmar has 3 recognisable seasons. The rainy season, which starts in May and continues until October. The wettest months are June and August. Then up to February is the "cool season." Cool means average temperatures of 80-85 Fahrenheit .This is the most popular season with tourists, though be warned, in the remoter parts of the northern mountains snow can often fall. During March and April is the dry season. This is not a good time for most tourists as temperatures soar daily well beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Myanmar does have Malarial regions and precautions should be taken as appropriate. Consult your doctor.
Simple precautions are easily applied, such as mosquito nets, burning coils, creams etc. People of Western background may find certain local foods hard to digest. Under no circumstances should you drink tap water unless it has been thoroughly boiled first. In the event of a medical emergency you will find Yangon well equipped with all the medical facilities you would expect in any country.
Aye Yeiktha Polyclinic - 340 Shwe Bon Tha Street, TEL 247 242
Australia, 88 Strand Rd, TEL 280 711
Most international flights land at Yangon's Mingaladon Airport which is 19 kilometers northwest of the capital. Mandalay Airport presently accepts regional flights and hopes to attaction international ones soon. Burma's international airline, Myanmar Airways operates daily flights to Bangkok, 4 a week to Singapore, 3 weekly to Hong Kong, 2 to Kuala Lumpur and 1 to Dhaka. Air Mandalay operates a bi-weekly service between Chiangmai (Thailand) and Yangon. Coming from Australia, Europe or the US A, its easier to fly via Bangkok.
Visas & Passports:
To enter Myanmar you must have a valid passport and Visa. Tourist and Business visas can be obtained at one of Myanmars overseas embassies. The Tourist Visa, or EVT is valid for 28 days and can easily be extended for a further 4 weeks at the Immigration office in Yangon. Any child above 7 years must have a visa. See visa section for more details.
Operates on 220-240 volts. Two pin plugs are common (as those used in Thailand). Three pined plugs are also used. A travel adaptor is highly recommended.
Most ex-pats are based in Yangon. They work in a wide variety of fields and are good sources for business related information. They can often be found frequenting bars at major hotels such as The Savoy.